The one thing that Lady Jane and her beloved husband Jacob had, was a love match, which for the ton of Regency England was a rarity indeed. Jane and Jacob had a fine home and two lovely daughters, but no heir to keep up Jacob's line of inheritance. Jane was confident though that she and her ever amorous husband would prevail, that is until a horrific accident leaves Jacob unable to sire any more children.
When Jacob's revolting wretch of a brother, Arthur, gets wind of Jacob's possible misfortune but his probable fortune at becoming Jacob's heir, Arthur appears at Fielding to see the situation with his own eyes. After the unsavory brother leaves his ailing brother and sister-in-law, Jacob comes up with a plan that might thwart Arthur's coveting of Jacob's title and holdings.
Jacob has a dear cousin, Matthew, who is on the unlucky and poor side of the family. Jacob had always attempted to help him in his endeavors to better his situations, but Matthew has pride and won't take charity, even if it is from a cherished family member. When Jacob calls upon Matthew to assist in his quest for an heir, both Matthew and Jane are aghast, but realizing the disgusting Arthur will gain all, spurns Matthew and Jane into the unthinkable.
When the unthinkable becomes so pleasurable, what it takes for the trio to come to terms with their consciences and their feeling will surprise the reader.
I have to say that I truly enjoyed this short but sizzling novella. It was well written and while I usually run from stories told in the first person, I welcomed this tale of desperation turned to perseverance and awakening. Jane and Jacob are a strong and caring couple, who have a powerful relationship. Matthew's entrance may shake the couple a little, but it would take much more to sever what this pair has, and maybe what the trio could have together is worth the piqued emotions and jealousy. THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF LADY JANE FIELDING by Viveka Portman is a steamy and sensual journey that I recommend be taken. Nicely done!